GP14 Nationals – Day 4

2016 GP14 National Championships

Day 4 Race Report – Thursday 25 August

With a forecast similar to the day before there was no rushing in the boat park on Day 4 of the 2016 GP14 National Championships. The prediction from most was that it would be a similar delay of around three hours. As we were all basking in the sunshine on the Plas Heli viewing deck or making yet more tiny adjustments to boats that were envisaged to be the magic cure for not being able to work out the beats, the message was sent round to get on the beach and fast.

Excitedly we all rushed as directed with the beach master instructing us to launch as soon as possible. Perhaps, I thought, they know of a squall coming through that would bring some wind and those odd peaked things that they don’t have on inland lakes. But it wasn’t to be, as we started to sail the wind dropped off if anything and didn’t look close to the 7 knots they had been measuring on the committee boat.

Eventually we were all out there with the wind ranging from 0 to 5 knots and our enthusiasm ranging from zero to ‘shoot me now’. The line was port biased for the start of Race 6 which led to a massive gold fleet pile up on the pin end and a re-start. We were away on the second and enjoyed a brief glimpse of Mike and Liz Senior (South Staffs SC) up the beat before they shot off, exploiting every none existent breath of wind to make it to the top of the beat first.

Second round were Richard Ham and Vicky Ford (Tollesbury SC/South Staffs SC) who will now be known to have a lightweight prowess to match their drinking abilities. The race pootled on with jellyfish moving faster than boats for the most part. On the sausage leg we were watching the leaders down the last run with Mike and Liz holding onto the win but Richard and Vicky unable to cling on to second, still finishing a very creditable fourth. The rest of the fleet were given positions where they were when the RIB went past after it had already been going on well over an hour.

At this point we thought Race 7 had been binned but the Race Officer had other ideas. Having done a great job of getting all the races in so far he managed to get us away cleanly. With a little more tide to worry about in this one we discussed tactics and options and went right. I remember remarking half way up as we looking quite good, that this could either go horribly wrong or fantastically well. It went the way of the horrible with ourselves, Justin Smith and Sarah O’Neill, and Dodge and Alan Jones slipping to the back.

There were no redeeming features of the race for us but others profited. Frank Nickless and Ben Pickering (Chase SC/Dovey SC) have been trying out all of the fleets this week with a 36th and then leading race 7 round the windward mark. In perfect conditions for Mike and Liz it was looking like only a matter of time before they took the Chase pair which they did with the Bolton boys Gary Deighan and Dale Knowles taking third. Overnight leader Shane MacCarthy and Andy Thompson (Greystones SC) had a shocker and were fighting it out with Ann Penny and Lisa Carpenter (Derwent SC/South Staffs SC) in the middle of the fleet.

As we came off the water there were a lot of very sad and confused looking sailors! With Mike and Liz profiting from their perfect conditions it leaves the Championship perfectly poised for a final day show down as the heavier winds on Day 5 may favour the heavier Irish pair but you never you what can happen on those beats!

Thanks to social sponsors Ningbo Paletised Distribution, racing sponsors English Braids and Super 6 sponsors Craftinsure.

The Rum Punch Report – Thursday

The nights are all starting to roll together into a blur of rum and fun! Today was sponsored by Ningbo Palletised Distribution so we thought it would be fun to use some of their pallets to build a presentation podium for the awards that evening.

I (Michelle) was particularly excited by this as the go-karting awards were also to be done on the podium. The go-karting was great fun. The place was as unhelpful as possible with us wanting to race each other so we drew up some racing instructions (RIs), issues our Notice of Race (NOR) and designated it a two race series with no discards. We were split into four groups of five with there to be one timed lap to count for each and then the results ranked and added together. We had enough nationalities for an international jury and rules were debated and discussed in detail before we began.

With Mark and Monkey in the same group and Team Devereux represented by Nick and Hugh it looked to be a good day’s racing. Myself and Dodge had some unfinished business from last year although I wasn’t hopeful of being able to beat him as easily as Jim Toothill last year!

As it came down to the last lap of the last race Dodge was leading followed by me with Monkey in third. As we watched monkey wave at Mark as he passed him he stuck in a quick lap to finish second in that race. On the rankings we were tied for second but after much heckling from Nick Devereux I conceded that on count back perhaps Monkey should get second and I third.

So, to the Naff Awards for the night. This was decided by a jury with a few to choose from. Lewis Coppinger lost his trolley on Tuesday, not quite getting the idea of the tide and leaving it too low on the shore. He had already been helped with this by Gill tying to helium balloons to his trailer for Thursday, one with and ‘angry bird’ on confirming this is Lewis’ trailer and the other a big L. The other nominee was the very well hydrated Andy Hunter. Both Sam and Andy are often seen relieving themselves on the start line (explains a lot about their starts!) but for this nomination Andy was seen having to go half way down the first beat. He won, and was presented with a champagne bottle that fired confetti.